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From the Empire: Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons 1    by Sunao Yoshida Amazon.com order for
From the Empire
by Sunao Yoshida
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
Softcover
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Tokyopop is marketing their new line of fiction to young adults readers who enjoy manga and anime. While I applaud their effort to encourage reading in teens who normally would not read anything more than word bubbles, the fiction selections must also be geared towards this audience. This first volume of Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons started a popular series that spawned into manga and anime variants, but the novel is geared towards an older group than other Tokyopop offerings. If they put the same ratings on their novels as they do on their manga, From the Empire needs an 'M' for mature - or 18 and up.

From the Empire is composed of the first four chapters, almost novellas, of the Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons saga. Each of these loosely-tied stories tells of the war between the Vatican and vampires in a post-apocalyptical Europe. The Vatican's main force against the vampires is a group of renegade priests and nuns called AX agents. Each episode comes to enough of a conclusion that the main points of the story are tied up, but the larger story still has unresolved conflicts, making the reader want to keep going in this way, the book is much like an anime, its episodic nature making it a good fit for anime fans.

Another thing that anime fans will like is the fast pace the stories take. Action is everywhere, although a lot of it is brutal and grotesque, one reason I think it should have an 'M' rating. The other reason I feel From the Empire is unsuitable for younger readers is that in the first novella-like chapter, Flight Night, one of the vampires sexually grabs a stewardess while making lurid comments. Luckily, she is saved by an AX agent before the vampire can make good on his threats and actually rape her.

Although I had trouble getting past the graphic nature of some scenes, I was really starting to like one of the main characters Abel Nightroad, a Crusik, or vampire's vampire and was disappointed to find that he did not feature at all in the last story, Sword Dancer. I know that as animes and mangas progress, it is common to add more characters to long storylines, but I have yet to encounter one that has an episode so early on that almost totally disregards any characters who have already been introduced.

Sunao Yoshida's Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons: From the Empire contains lots of action that will get anime fans happily reading, but I feel it does not belong on Young Adult shelves. The stories contain too much vampiric gore for many teen readers.

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